[Saskatchewan] Gold mining set to increase – by Trilby Henderson (Regina Leader-Post – May 19, 2012)


With its massive production potential, northern Saskatchewan is securing its seat as one of the best locations in the world to mine gold. For the province’s gold production companies, this fact comes as no surprise as they find themselves on pace to achieve major production milestones in 2012.
Neil McMillan, president and CEO of Claude Resources, said the company is on track to draw its one millionth ounce of gold from its Seabee Gold Operation by August this year.
“A one-million-ounce ore body is considered a world-class ore body,” McMillan said. “But in many respects, we think we’re just getting started because we have the potential to expand that producing asset from 50,000 ounces per year, probably into the 100,000 ounces per year range in the next three to four years.”
Claude first began commercial production at the Seabee Gold Mine, located about 125 kilometres northeast of La Ronge, in late 1991 and has been in constant operation since then, churning out about 50,000 ounces of gold each year.
While surpassing their one million ounce milestone is a huge achievement, McMillan said it is only the start. The company has had immense success exploring for gold in the area surrounding the Seabee mill and Seabee mining complex and, in 2011, doubled its in-ground inventory of gold to 1.3 million ounces.
“We have more gold in front of us that we have identified in the ground now, than at any time over the last 20 years,” he said.
Claude Resources is also in the process of exploring and developing a second project in the province, the Amisk Gold Project, as well as a significant third project in Red Lake, Ontario, known as the Madsen Gold Project.
Amisk, a potential open-pit gold mine, is located on a 23,000-hectare property just across the border from Flin Flon, Manitoba. The area was subject to considerable exploration between the 1960s and 1990s, and McMillan said they believe it holds a great deal of promise. If all goes well, he expects the Amisk Gold Project could enter production within the next three to four years.
Claude Resources isn’t the only Saskatchewan gold mining company to reach a new milestone this year. Golden Band Resources Inc., the province’s newest gold producer, also has reason to celebrate. In its first year of commercial gold production, Golden Band has generated more than 40,000 ounces of gold and its one hundredth gold bar.
“We’re quite satisfied with the way things are going,” said Rob Garden, president and CEO of Golden Band Resources. “Would we like to have produced more gold than we have produced up to this point? Absolutely. But one of the things about the industry is that you don’t just start up a mine or start up a mill and have everything running perfectly out of the gate.”
For the rest of this article, please go to the Regina Leader-Post website: http://www.leaderpost.com/Gold+mining+increase/6648165/story.html

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